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Breathing and beyond

Have you ever watched a baby breathing, how her abdomen slightly expands while she is inhaling deeply. Babies and young children use deep breathing instinctively. As we grow older our breathing changes. We go to school and during the physical education classes we are encouraged to breathe through chest all the while contracting our abdominal muscles and naturally inhibiting our diaphragm. While teachers try to improve our posture they impair our healthy breathing habits.

Then life happens and we start collecting emotional traumas. It can be a short-tempered teacher, exhausted mother or a friend breaking our hearts. When we face danger; and almost all times our bodies perceive stressing situations as danger; we hold our breath and then start having shallow breathes. That starts a vicious cycle. Shallow breathing increases the stress level and stress causes more shallow breathing. It takes a body and mind awareness to break this cycle.

In yoga classes we usually start the practice with breathing. We invite participants to observe their bodies and focus on their breathing encouraging slow, extended, full abdominal breathes. It always amazes me to see people change so fast at the end of a very busy day. How calm they become only in a couple of minutes. Correct breathing works wonders as it affects our mental state.

There are various breathing technics – pranayama exercises- in yoga both invigorating and calming the body and mind. If you are particularly exposed to a lot of stress on a daily basis please explore these technics and use them. Increase your awareness. Claim what is rightfully yours and breathe, oh and really breathe. It will not only nurture your body more but also calm your mind and help you see things in a different way. You cannot choose whether to breathe or not but you can always choose how to breathe. It’s the first step on the path to bliss.

Please do not hesitate to contact me if you would like to know more about this subject. I would be happy to help.

Love, peace and harmony

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